Thank you all for reading my rambles. All comments are read and appreciated. There have been some great comments recently so many, many thanks. I'm sorry if I haven't managed to comment on your blog I do read them as often as I can.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


To everyone who has followed my ramblings over the last year I wish you a very happy 2015. I am posting this just a fraction early. We in the UK have to wait another 7 hours. While we wait we can watch the fireworks going on ahead of us.

I am preparing my new journal all ready to start tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Well December is nearly over. The Festive Season was great. DH and I went to the Lake District and stayed in a lovely hotel, we were well looked after. Lots of food and I didn't have to do a thing apart from turn up. There were puzzles and quizes, music and a magician.

When we arrived at Bowness the lake was flooding the walkways near the ferry landings. The birds were having a good time, they knew when they were on to a good thing

Here you can see the view of Lake Windemere from the hotel lounge

Boxing Day on a ferry round the lake
Snow on the hills on the way home
 Kirkstone Pass and it was snowing
The sun was shining when we got home
Today there is ice on the car

A few shots from earlier in the month
Chasing Shadows Exhibition
 Christmas poinsettia 

Christmas Trees - a few of them!
Christmas icicle
Finally the Masked Ball

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. see you in 2015

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

1st October

Where did September go? August I was quite busy with trips to Wallington in Northumberland to demonstrate in the TWYNE exhibition 'Spirit of Wallington.' This will end on 2nd November so there is still time to catch it. Visit the Wallington National Trust site - events and get more details. 

Then I went to visit two friends' exhibition in Bellingham 'Personal Journeys' well done Helen and Gillian it looked great.

This was followed by a weekend with Area 15E Quilters' Guild and a workshop with Nancy Price. My beautiful butterfly so far.

I have since made another small butterfly to go on top of the small white one on the left. I still have to stitch the three pieces together after making the edges of the quilt.

This last weekend I was in London to visit DD and her partner. They gave me some lovely news, they are getting married in the Spring so I have lots to think about. We had a lovely long weekend, a meal with my son on the South Bank. Went to the threads show at Farnham and met some of my lovely online friends from Be  Creative. Another exhibition by Alice Fox which has now finished, Alice makes beautiful rust dyed fabrics and I was lucky enough to attend one of her workshops. here is a piece of rust dyes silk noil I dyed after the course and I am now starting to stitch into.

So now it is 1st October and a start of a new month and a new set of prompts in Be Creative. if you want to join us please use the above Be Creative link. There is no obligation to do all the prompts and you can interpret them in whatever medium you wish. We have writers, poets, artists, embroiderers, dyers and other mediums at our fingertips and it is great to see how others use the prompts to kick start their creativity.

The first prompt today is a word - DATE. Here is what I wrote this morning.

Prompt 1 - DATE

- Today's date 1/10/14
- Dates we eat
- Going out on a date

- A DATE poem
Definitely enjoying trying
Average results most of the time
Today I will do better
Everyone can have a go

- The Julian Calendar and Gregorian calendars you can read about them here:-
And here:-
Interesting reading 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Sunday 27th July we visited Harlow Carr before going to Ripon. It was a beautiful day. I did take photos but I don't seem to be able to find them at the moment. So I will tell you about the reason for the visit. I was there help put up an exhibition in the Cathedral entitled Lindisfarne: Faith, Inspiration and Stitch.

Here is one of my pieces entitled Celtic Knot. Free machine embroidery on metal shim. Yes I did put a piece of metal through my machine and remembered to change my needle afterwards. When the sewing machine was sent to be serviced. There was a comment that there was a bit of rust present in the workings. Mayhaps from the small bits of metal that were punched while stitching. I will remember to clean my machine next time I stitch into metal.

Here is a poor picture of two boards I made when doing my City and Guild work showing tablet weaving and split stitch along with goldwork

 DH and I went to Ripon town square at 9pm to see the Hornblower who puts the town to bed. He told a very good story.

Friday, July 25, 2014

My vegetables

I thought it was about time I showed you my veggie pictures this year. I have already lifted two tubs of potatoes and they are the best I've had. I must have fed them well this year.

Then there all the other veg. Onions, sweet corn, kohl rabbi, lettuce, strawberries and in the shed my first mini cucumber. We are also eating the first small Tom Thumb tomatoes. Great!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Busy Bee

Yes I have been busy so, once again, my blog has been neglected. I started this post a while ago and it was just waiting for photographs. For those of you on Face Book you will know that I am part of a team of 5 ladies running a Textile Social History Project here in the North East of England. In 2011 I managed to get a small grant from AgeUK and with the help of the Embroiderers' Guild we had two meetings in public libraries, we payed for the hire of small meeting rooms and also some publicity for the upcoming exhibition that we put on in 2012.
A 1971 wedding dress also worn as Matron of Honour to the lady who made it.

This was a great success, we took lots of photographs, talked to lots of people, both in their homes and also in clubs and meetings that we attended.
Anyone remember wearing these dresses?

It was amazing what people had kept. Wedding dresses and christening gowns were common, embroidered and crocheted cloths were also easily loaned out to us for display purposes. However there were also some more unusual items such as a beautiful lace collar that was stitched to a plain jumper and unpicked every time it needed washing. Photographs of a millenium embroidery. A Pippa Dee nightdress and a dress from the 70's made of Crimplene. So many people remembered the wonder fabrics like nylon shirts and Crimplene that could be washed, hung up and worn again without ironing. In the NE Brentford Nylons sold bedsheets that gave off static electricity and in the summer were very uncomfortable on the skin.
A lace collar that would be sewn onto a plain jumper and removed for every wash

So earlier this year when a friend, who was part of a group of WI ladies setting up a Vintage Fair in Rothbury, asked me if I could get involved it was easy to say yes we could put part of the exhibition together again. This we did and lots of new people lent us their textile items including scraps of three laying out cloths, a child's Maltese lace bolero and a Polish embroidered waistcoat. All these items had a sentimental story attached to them.

So in August 2014 a collection was made, models borrowed and a beautiful exhibition set up both in Rothbury and then back in the new Whitley Bay Library the week following.

An embroidery done for Man's first walk on the Moon

Where do we go next? Who knows? But I have ideas, so watch this space I may just have more news soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Head of Steam Darlington

If you just happen to be in the NE tomorrow Sunday 22nd June, 10am - 3pm.Come and see me at The Head of Steam Railway Museum. There are lots of artwork, ceramics and textiles being sold by local artists.

Today I talked to some really lovely people and hope to do the same tomorrow. Do you have a birthday coming up or know someone who does? This is a chance to get a bargain. Or why not start Christmas shopping early?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Be Creative this wekend

If you have a spare 15 mins come and join us and Be Creative, join in if you can, no obligation but it would be nice if you could come back here and let me know what you are doing?
Be Creative information

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy accidents

Happy Accidents. These are happening to me a lot recently. First the blood on my work. It did improve my work. It was while I was perusing a friend's blog I was reminded of my love of scraps. I started listing the scraps I have.

1) there's the TUSAL jar, all the threads and tiny fabrics that most people throw in the bin. Totally Useless. NO not to me as I create fabrics with them, either with dissolvable fabric and sheers. Or they are embellished into felt or other fabrics.
My TUSAL jar                                

2) there are the papers I have painted and played with over the years, especially tissue. They are used in ATCs and postcards. Any tiny scraps are kept for completing pieces.

3) there are the pile of dyed and painted fabrics used for many projects. Any left overs are kept, divided into strips and smaller scraps. This is a small piece, no completed yet.

4) there are the things that didn't quite work or were experimented on - my mop up cloths for example. Recently quite a few of these have come into their own.

Some of you know that I am working towards an exhibition in the summer. My topic is Clocks, one piece is completed bar it's label and I have ideas for them. (see later on in this post.) So number two was started a few weekends ago on my course with Yvonne Brown. The piece I produced still isn't quite finished but the old kitchen clock fabric I created with TUSAL scraps quite a few years ago was cut up to create one of the backings for my tiles. 

I then found the photograph I had taken of the clock tower at Wallington Hall, Northumberland. DH, bless him, played with the image and printed out several clocks, all the same but different sizes.

I set to work choosing, at random - almost - fabrics that would melt and would cut with a soldering iron. Those of you who have seen Margaret Beal at some of the shows will have seen some of the intricate work she does. Yvonne works in a similar way with Kunin felt. Google the word and find out what it is.  A lot of traders don't know what it is. Three clocks were made and I sat and  looked at them for a while on the lovely orangey brown fabric that I had painted and printed on with my Colouricious blocks and had been going to be the grouting for my tiles. It was too small for that project so put aside, but not forgotten.

Two nights ago I was sitting looking at the work so far. In my bag I just happened to have some blue painted Bondaweb that was for another job and never used. The pieces had been folded and looked a bit disheveled so I tore them into smaller pieces and placed them on top of the orange fabric and under the clocks. Voila, simple but looking good. Even DH said yes that's looking good! Maybe he's more interested because he's been involved from the start! The end of clock 2 is in sight. Just one more piece and I know what I want to do for that.
This is the WIP.

My new labels made from scraps of dyed paper napkins
Scraps of yarn used in this felted hanging

Thank-you for looking. Night for now.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

ATC Give Away

Would you like to own this little piece of textile art? Then leave a comment here before 10pm Easter Monday  (tomorrow) I will post here if you are successfully.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lost ATCs

During March I took part in a Be Creative online weekend event. As a result some of us made some ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). Some we swapped with others within the group and at least one in the series was 'lost' somewhere in the artists local area. The small pieces of art have a blog reference number and a website address . If you click on my link you can have a look at these ATCs and see if there is one near you. If you find one please leave a comment and perhaps a photograph. We would love to hear what has happened to these pieces. If you want to see mine you will have to visit the website. Remember to come back here to see what else we have been up to.

We would also love to have you join us for our next events. This does mean you need a Facebook account which some people dislike. It is the only way we could see of having a 'safe' group site as all members are vetted and come usually by recommendations from others within the group. You do not need to have posts seen by the general public and can restrict them to friends only.

Beware however :) there is a lot of chatter depending on which activities you choose to join. I know there are one or two of my friends who follow this blog. So please take a look at my ATCs and see if you can 'find' them and give them good homes. Hint:- one of my favourite local wool shops is involved. Try one in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Below is just one image I found during the weekend event. It is an enlarged microscope image of a piece of expanded popcorn. Would you believe it? Honey bees create similar structures within a honeycomb. I can see me using this image in a future piece of work.

That's all for today. If you would like to know more about what I have been up to since my last blog entry then visit my Facebook page.

I hope the sun is out where you are. This morning here on the North East coast has dawned with a lovely clear sky, which probably means it's very cold outside.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It is nearly April

Well March is nearly over and I don't really know where it has gone. I have been busy. Health-wise not so good, I won't dwell but it has involved lots of doctor and hospital appointments.

So what have you done in March? I hear you ask. Well I attended Region 15E  Quilters' Guild Regional Day followed by a course with Yvonne Brown, an inspirational teacher and prolific quilter. Below you can see my tidy desk on the course, well it's tidy for me! Then the photo of the workers at the end of the afternoon. I'm the one with very little done and gingerly holding all my little experimental scraps together when all the rest had a quilt block finished. Photo three shows the blocks I made 1/3 completed the next day. It has progressed on since then but I don't have a photo to show you, yet!

I've made several ATCs and Postcards, here are a selection

This is a selfie done on my iPad

I went to London to visit my daughter for my birthday she took me to see War Horse. That was a fantastic show, If you haven't seen the stage production do it's amazing. Those who know me will say but your birthday is in February, why a birthday treat in March?Well to tell the truth DD said when do you want to come down? and I said March because there is a stitching show at Olympia and I had never been before. Here are just a few of the goodies I got.
Beautiful fabrics from Burma

 Stash laid out on my bed

a little book made by Gilda Baron and some felted pebbles I made at a workshop with Ailish Henderson

 Back home and here is a small book I made when playing with some newly acquired artists inks, it really is quite small/

 Playing with disperse dyes
 Finally my small memory pin cushion which was actually made on Valentines Day in February. I don't think I have shared this with you but I love it.
 The image is my Mum, my Gran and my great Gran

I have done other things as well this month because I am working towards an exhibition at Wallington Hall in Northumberland in the summer with the textile group TWYNE. I'll tell you more about that in a later post when the advertising poster is completed. I have finished one item and am planning two more so will have to pull my finger out and get going.

That's all for now. If you are interested have a look at this link on our upcoming Creative Weekend.